Writing Your Personal Statement: Never Use These Topics
When you are writing your personal statement you need to understand that along with your personal statement, university admissions panels will also be reading hundreds from other people. There are a few things that are high on their list of personal statement pet peeves list. Her are a few.
- A. Your personal statement should be by and about you. Never put quotes from anyone else…Shakespeare, Locke, Aristotle, Martin Luther or anyone. Only your voice needs to be heard.
- B. Admissions panels do not like to read lists of things that you have done or seen, places you have visited, books you have read or any other type of list. Instead of listing a bunch of things, tell what you learned from one specific thing and how it influenced you.
- C. There are many clichés that admissions panels see and are truly tired of. They include but are not limited to anything that starts with: since I was a child; from a young age; I have a thirst for knowledge, I am fascinated by, and other things of that nature. Be real.
- D. If you are going to say something about yourself and you start it with something like “I truly believe that I am a very motivated individual” then back it up by stating why you believe that. Don’t just put it out there to hang by itself.
- E. The words passionate and passion should be struck from the personal statement writers’ vocabulary.
- F. Speaking of vocabulary, write how you speak, not how you think smart people talk. It makes you look like you are trying too hard. That can be a very bad thing.
- G. Do not ever plagiarize anything ever…especially in your personal statement. It will be automatically thrown away if plagiarism is found. Also, don’t say you have done something, read something or anything else when you haven’t. You may be questioned about different aspects of your personal statement and found out. Another bad thing.
- H. Be very careful with the use of humor. Not everyone has the same sense of humor that you do.
- I. Anything negative should be avoided like the plague.
- J. If an event is not relevant, then do not write about it.
If you are writing a personal statement, do not use any of these things if you want it to be an effective one. Good luck and happy writing!